Archive for Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Car accident claims life of 19-year-old THS grad

Driver lost control of vehicle in central Kansas

April 13, 2005

Brad Nickel loved cars and wrestling.

The 2004 Tonganoxie High graduate started wrestling when he was 8 and competed for THS during all four years of high school.

And that love for cars was steering Nickel into a profession. He had plans of soon starting on a nine-month course to become a certified auto body technician.

But on Saturday, a one-vehicle accident about 12 miles north of Chapman prevented Nickel from pursuing his career.

Nickel, riding back to Tonganoxie from the Salina area with a friend, was killed in the accident. He was 19.

According to a Kansas Highway Patrol report, Natosha L. Vansant, 21, Salina, was driving her 1991 Honda Accord LX about 6:35 p.m. Saturday east on Kansas Highway 18 when the vehicle went onto the shoulder and crossed the intersection of K-18 and Quail Road. She overcorrected and went onto the left shoulder and rolled down an embankment. Nickel and Vansant were not wearing seat belts and were ejected from the vehicle.

Vansant was taken to Stormont-Vail Hospital in Topeka. A hospital official said Tuesday that Vansant's family requested that her condition not be released.

Nickel was returning from the Salina area where he was visiting his father, Jeff. Nickel came to Tonganoxie in 2000 with his mother, Teresa, and younger sister, Alisha, who now is a sixth-grader at Tonganoxie Elementary. Nickel's older brother, Adam, also lives in Tonganoxie.

On Monday, Adam recalled some of his brother's hobbies and interests.

"He was a big Chevy man," Adam said.

Jeff noted that his son was a long-time wrestler, but that he also was involved in other things.

"Believe or not, pottery," Jeff said. "He did a lot of that stuff."

Nickel also was close to his mother and younger sister.

"They wanted to say that they always will love him," Adam said.

Nickel's funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Quisenberry Funeral Home, Fourth and Delaware streets in Tonganoxie.

Nickel's obituary appears on page 2A of this week's edition of The Mirror.

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